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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

551W21, 551 West 21st Street

At The Northeast corner of Eleventh Avenue

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

Some architects like to recycle their plans, but not Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank, the architect of such major world landmarks as the Viaduc de Millau Bridge over the Tarn Valley in France, the very high-tech Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank tower in Hong Kong, the Sainsbury Center in England, the glass dome at the Reichstag in Berlin and the glass roof at the British Museum in London, and the Hearst Tower on West 57th Street and his very slick 50 United Nations Plaza with some curves now nearing completion for the Zeckendorfs here.

His latest project is a mid-rise apartment building for SR Capital of which Scott Resnick is the principal and GTIS Partners at 551 West 21st Street in Chelsea, just up the proverbial road from Jean Nouvel’s crazy-quilt 100 Eleventh Avenue and Frank O. Gehry’s billowing office building for Barry Diller’s IAC building.  Mr. Resnick was formerly president of Jack Resnick & Sons and is the chairman of the Building Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art that is relocating from Madison Avenue to a new building designed by Renzo Piano in the Meatpacking District by the High Line.

The 19-story building, which will be completed next year, will have 44 apartments.  Beyer Blinder Belle is the associate architect for the project.

Bottom Line

The building raises the bar for luxury apartments and its overall design defies easy categorization.

Description

It has an in-and-out treatment of its base and some balconies not only have glass railings but also are part of large apartment “recessed loggias.” Some of its windows are framed in gold-colored metal and others in black metal and many will have “window seating.” 

The asymmetrical building will have a large curved driveway next to a large “green” wall and the lobby will have a 34-foot-high lobby with a handsome tall sculpture.

Amenities

It will have a concierge, a doorman, a porter, a live-in superintendent, a bicycle room, a children’s playroom, a gym, laundry, a residents’ louge with fireplace and catering kitchen, and parking will be available.

Apartments

Kitchens will have polished Blanco de Macael marble countertops and backsplashes, custom kitchens with natural stained oak cabinetry, two Sub-Zero refrigerators and wine coolers, two Miele convection ovens, two Miele dishwashers, a Gaggenau cooktop with vented hood, a Gaggenau barbecue grill and a Gaggenau Teppanyaki grill and a cooling drawer.

The master bathrooms will have Luna black granite flooring, Quarella stone wall tiles, an Americh “Beijing” free-standing tub, and radiant heating floors.

The three full-floor penthouse units will have about 6,200 square feet of space with 360-degree views and 12-foot-high ceilings, recessed brass cove foyer lighting, curved window reveals with perimeter seating in all rooms, separate elevator entrances for entertaining and private quarters, a wood-burning, double-sided fireplace, grand rooms interconnected with library and club rooms, concealed ceiling mounted four pipe, fan-coil heating, ventilating and air conditioning units, and awning-style, top-hung, operable windows.

The uppermost unit will have more than 4,000 square feet of outdoor space with a 61-foot-long, swimming pool.  

History

Foster’s finest design was for the Whitney Museum, an unbuilt, mixed-use tower in the 1970s with a slanted glass base as expansion space for the museum of a tower with interchangeable black-metal panels with a variety of geometric cutouts for windows for the apartments..

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